WWI ARGUS ARCHIVE: Mediation a failure - Austria and Serbia at war

COUNT BERCHTOLD Austro-Hungarian minister for foreign affairs

COUNT BERCHTOLD Austro-Hungarian minister for foreign affairs

First published in News

WAR BEGINS

Mediation a failure

All eyes now on Russia

As was promptly announced in the South Wales Argus last evening, Austria-Hungary have taken the step which all who have followed continental affairs feared for weeks.

The recent situation, some papers have said, is in the nature of a bolt from the blue but as far back as July 4 it was remarked in a leading article in the South Wales Argus: “It is not wildly improbable that the Sarajevo crime bearing down that end of the political scales already weighed with the war load.”

Those words might have been written in the last few days and they show that the present situation has not developed with the rapidity which it has been suggested in certain quarters.

Sir Edward Grey and the British government made the only possible proposal by which conflict could be averted and the Ministers of the Emperor Francis Joseph have given their reply without waiting to see how the proposal for mediation was received by the European powers.

They have intimated in their own emphatic manner their own entire unwillingness to accept mediation.

All eyes are now on Russia. Before the declaration of war she announced that she would not allow Serbia to be rushed and she has threatened what she will do immediately that Austria occupies any portion of Servian Territory.

If Russia intervenes, Germany and Italy will go to the support of Austria.

France in that event may be expected to support Russia and the greatest war in history would then be waged.

Declaration of war...

The formal declaration of war was published in a special edition of the ‘Official Gazette’ in Vienna.

It was worded as follows: “The Royal Government of Serbia not having given a satisfactory reply to the note presented to the Austro-Hungarian ministry in Belgrade on July 23, 1914, the Imperial and Royal Government of Austria-Hungary finds it necessary to safeguard its rights and interests and to have recourse for this purpose to force of arms. Austria Hungary considers itself from this moment in a state of war with Serbia.”

 

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